There are many rites of passages associated with particular birthdays. At 16 you can drive, at 18 you can buy tobacco products (yippee!), at 21 you can drink and, last but certainly not least, at 25 you can rent a car. My daughter is obsessed with two of her little known three-year-old rites of passage. The first, swimming lessons, consumes her thoughts on an hourly basis. She asks me at least ten times per day, "Mommy, am I going to imim lessons today?" I only get to answer her question with an affirmation on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the rest of the time she sulks around, depressed about her non-swimming, three-year-old existence. This morning, a swimming lesson day, I awoke to green and white striped lycra two inches from my face and my daughter repeating, "Can you help me put on my bathing suit for swimming lessons? Can you help me put on my bathing suit for swimming lessons?" over and over again. I finally gave in, surrendering the fantasy that I might actually get to sleep until 7:00am on a non-school day. Where do I get these ridiculous notions?
Her second obsession is with the nursery at our local YMCA. We are regular Y-goers so that nursery and the wonderful staff that helps care for the kiddos is a second home for my kids. My daughter and I go sans my son on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while he is in preschool and then we all go on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The days when my son is present are a little complicated due to the fact that my son is in the 3-5-year-old section and my daughter is in the 18 month-2-year-old section. The only thing that divides these two areas is a 3 foot book shelf but my daughter can't stand it. She wants to be with Bubba in what she refers to as, "The Boy Room." The other room where she spent hours of agonizing partial separation from my son on Tuesdays and Thursdays is aptly named, "The Girl Room." There is, mind you, no separation based on gender in the nursery. This is just how my daughter sees the world I guess. Suffice it to say, she was thrilled to death when, on Tuesday, she was permitted to stay in "The Boy Room" with Bubba. She practically danced past the 3 food bookshelves and staked her claim in the space right next to Bubba. It was a victorious day.